Almost immediately after it was announced that former President George H.W. Bush had passed away at the age of 94 on Friday, rumors began to circulate that President Donald Trump might be excluded from the funeral and memorial services the same way he was excluded following the death of Arizona Sen. John McCain.
But those rumors were quickly put to rest by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who informed the media that the president and First Lady Melania Trump would be in attendance at the funeral for the late 41st president.
Though Trump and members of the Bush family have sparred in the past, it seems the presidential families are putting hard feelings aside ahead of the funeral; the president and first lady even wrote a heartfelt message of condolences to the Bushes.
State funeral arrangements
Sanders told the media over the weekend that both the president and first lady were immediately informed of Bush’s death on Friday night, and that President Trump was expected to speak by phone with the late president’s son, former President George W. Bush, on Saturday morning.
“A state funeral is being arranged with all of the accompanying support and honors,” explained Sanders. That funeral will be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, though a date for the service has not yet been announced.
It was also announced that Trump has authorized the use of Air Force One to transport the late former president and his casket to Washington from Bush’s home in Houston, Texas.
The Hill reported that Trump issued a proclamation on Saturday that ordered all U.S. flags be flown at half-staff for the next 30 days in honor of Bush.
That proclamation also declared Wednesday, Dec. 5, a National Day of Mourning for the late president, a day on which the U.S. stock market will be closed, likely along with some non-essential government services.
Trump to honor his late predecessor
Speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One during his return trip from the G20 economic summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Trump made note of the fact that the presidential plane would be used to transport Bush’s casket.
He also expressed a willingness to negotiate a brief extension on an upcoming budget bill deadline in light of the presidential death in order to temporarily put off what could be a rather partisan fight during this time of national grief.
Former President George H.W. Bush will be missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and the American people — of course including the current president and first lady, who will be included in the events that respectfully honor the passing of an esteemed American leader.
RIP, Mr. President.